Body Contouring After Major Weight Loss
Significant weight loss due to lifestyle modifications, medical weight loss, or bariatric surgery often times lead to significant amounts of sagging skin, loose skin, visibility of stretch marks, and an unsatisfactory contour. There are a number of surgical procedures available to help improve these issues. Please read some frequently asked questions below and keep in mind that Dr. Fisher is a member of the American Society for Bariatric Plastic Surgeons, which certifies her experience and interest in addressing post-massive weight loss aesthetic concerns.
Surgery After Weight Loss
Unfortunately, there are no options other than surgery for overstretched skin. All of these areas can be “lifted” with a variety of surgical procedures. The principle of all of these surgeries is to trade sagging skin and poor contour for improved contour and scars. Most people find that the scars are worth the improvement in contour, ease of movement, and hygiene.
Clothes fitting better and increase in physical activity are two positive things touted by patients. Procedures that can be performed include arm lift (Brachioplasty), breast lift (mastopexy) with or without an implant, tummy tuck (abdominoplasty), belt lipectomy (“circumferential body lift”), thigh lift, and facelift/necklift (rhytidectomy).
Who Is a Good Candidate for Post-Weight Loss Surgery?
Those who are considering undergoing post-massive weight loss/post-bariatric body-contouring surgery must meet the following criteria:
- Have overall good health.
- Follow a healthy diet.
- Are finished losing a major amount of weight.
- Do not smoke.
- Have maintained a consistent weight for over a year.
Can The Post-Weight Loss Surgeries Be Combined?
Some of the surgeries can be combined, but often times multiple surgeries are required. This is because some procedures take longer than others, and it is for your safety that you do not undergo surgery or be kept under anesthesia for excessive time periods.
The procedures also have different recovery times and different movement restrictions. For example, an arm lift requires no weight bearing on the arms or bending the arms initially.A tummy tuck requires you to bend over initially. If you have a tummy tuck, you need your arms to support you, so arm lift and tummy tuck at the same time is not advised. Whether or not Dr. Fisher will do procedures simultaneously or stage them for multiple operations depends on the patient and the particular procedures needed.
Post-Massive Weight Loss Skin Sagging
When skin has been stretched beyond a certain point, it loses its ability to be elastic and cannot recoil anymore. Often times there are also stretch marks. Stretch marked skin is damaged skin that can’t return to its pre-stretched state. Even without stretch marks, skin that has been overstretched can’t be restored.
I’m so blessed to have Dr. Orna Fisher as my surgeon. She is caring and professional. Out of the three plastic surgeons I visited, she is the best. I’m so happy with my new figure.
Panoche C.T. – August 2017
Problems Caused By Excess Skin
Losing weight is not easy; neither is the aftermath of losing weight. The excess skin that is left over after a massive loss of weight can cause many daily, cosmetic, and medical issues. The skin can make daily tasks such as getting dressed, showering, and even moving extremely tasking. On top of that, the excess skin tends to rub, resulting in sores and rashes that can cause health-threatening infections. All of that aside, the skin sagging is a cosmetic problem for most people. Despite having lost the weight, many with excess skin feel their new body does not reflect the work they’ve put into themselves. The best, and often only, way to reduce or remove this skin is through surgery.
Areas Most Affected by Sagging Skin After Massive Weight Loss
It depends on the person and their patterns of weight gain and weight loss. Different people accumulate more fat in certain places than other people do. Some areas on the body are less tolerant to over-stretching the skin. Usually, the arms, chest, breasts, and abdomen are most affected. However, the face, neck, back, thighs, and genital region can often be affected too.
Risks and Side Effects of Post-Bariatric Surgery
As with any other major surgical procedure, the procedures involved in post-massive weight loss/post-bariatric surgery come with a few risks/side effects. These risks and side effects include:
- Loose skin
- Asymmetrical results
- Tissue death (skin necrosis)
It is important that people who are considering undergoing these procedures is in a good state of mental health. It is also important to have realistic expectations and be prepared if the result are not exactly as they were hoped to be.
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